Stranger Travels Far to Meet Elyria Man

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ELYRIA, Ohio -- An Arkansas man crisscrossed the country to meet a Northeast Ohio man he knew only from reading a national newspaper.

Donna's Diner in downtown Elyria is a place where people share coffee and conversation.  In fact, the Breakfast Club meets at the same table daily.

Bill Wilson of Little Rock joined them Friday morning, especially to meet Speedy Amos of Elyria.

The 87-year-old was one of the regulars at Donna's Diner featured in a New York Times series of articles on the challenges and opportunities in a small American city.

Wilson was most intrigued with Amos’ military service.

"I saw the article and I showed it to my breakfast friends.  Most of them are Korean War veterans.  And, I am expected to report back about Speedy,” Wilson said.

Amos didn’t know what to think about a man who traveled more than 600 miles just to meet him.

"It's quite a surprise.  I didn't know.  I still don't know what's going on, really.  Only that Bill is here,” Amos said.

Wilson is a Federal judge and was assisting with some cases in Hartford, Connecticut.

On his way back to Arkansas, he decided to stop by Donna’s Diner.

Two men who were once strangers are now friends.  Wilson and Amos intend to keep in touch.

Since the New York Times stories ran in October, hundreds of people from around the world have come to Donna's Diner to experience Midwest America in Elyria, Ohio.

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